You should not be convicted of a crime if there is reasonable doubt that you committed the crime. However, you are not the one who gets to decide whether or not there is reasonable doubt in your own case. Instead, reasonable doubt is a legal term, and it is up to the court to decide whether or not there is reasonable doubt that you should be convicted.
What Reasonable Doubt Really Means
Reasonable doubt is the highest standard of proof that exists within the American legal system. It is used only in criminal cases.
Before you are convicted of a crime, a prosecutor must convince the court that you are guilty of that crime by establishing your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. That means that the judge or the jury must conclude that there is no other reasonable, rational, or logical explanation about who committed the crime or about whether your actions or inaction were criminal.
You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer Because You Face Criminal Penalties
The burden of proof is on the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is not on you. It is up to the prosecution to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. While it is not your responsibility to prove your innocence, you are the one who will live with the potential consequences of a criminal conviction. Therefore, you want to work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can:
- Choose jurors who genuinely understand the reasonable doubt standard and who are willing to decide the case according to that standard.
- Thoroughly analyze the evidence and, if possible, use it to create a reasonable doubt that you committed a crime.
This can be very difficult to do on your own.
Contact a Richmond criminal defense lawyer today to learn more about your possible defense strategy and legal options. At Quest Law PLLC, we will always answer your questions honestly and communicate with you. Call us or fill out our online contact form to speak with us directly.